A Spanish tourist in Australia barely had one leg in the country before he was sent back under beefed-up biosecurity laws over failing to declare ham and cheese in his luggage. 

The 20-year-old man had his visa cancelled and was fined $3300 for carrying more than one kilogram of undeclared raw pork meat and cheese.

He was stopped at Perth Airport last Tuesday when 275 grams of non-commercial pork pancetta, 665g of non-commercial pork meat and about 300g of goats’ cheese in his luggage were not declared.

The Australian government announced an increase to its infringements for people caught with banned items to stop diseases and pests from entering Australia.

Previously the man would have had his visa cancelled and been fined $2664.

tasting plate of jamon
The tourist would have faced different action if he declared the jamon.

Travellers whose visas are cancelled are removed from Australia on the earliest available flight and can face an exclusion period of three years before they are able to reapply.

The country’s Agricultural Minister Murray Watt slammed the tourist for bringing in the meat.

“If he had declared those products, other action would have been taken, but the problem was that he didn’t declare them,” he said.

“We are serious about keeping foot and mouth and other diseases out of the country and travellers need to remember that when they’re trying to enter Australia.”

It’s been estimated an outbreak of foot and mouth in Australia cost the economy more than $80billion across 10 years.


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